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In the spring of 1948, A.E. Hotchner was assigned by Cosmopolitan to get from Ernest Hemingway an article on ""The Future of Literature"". He never did manage to finagle the predictive think piece from Hemingway --it burgeoned into two substitute short stories and came out Across the River and Into the Trees, which Cosmo ran in three parts -- but ""Hotch"" got to know ""Papa"" and ""Papa"" came to respect ""Hotch."" They drank together. And how they talked! Hemingway trusted Hotchner and opened up to him in Cuba, New York, Paris, Venice, on the Riviera, in Madrid, Sun Valley, and finally at the Mayo Clinic. So the book is arranged: chronologically, geographically. There are letters, but A.E. Hotchner was there most of the time. And now he puts it down, editing his own experience of Hemingway according to Hemingway's dictum: ""He said that for him there was only one way to account for things --to tell the whole truth about them, holding back nothing; tell the reader the way it truly happened, the ecstasy and sorrow, remorse and how the weather was, and, with any luck, the reader will find his way to the heart of the thing itself."" Hotchner thought of everything in his conversations with the novelist. It is all here: the code of loyalty, writing habits, his love for ""Miss Mary,"" the Spanish Civil War, the time in Paris, the intrusive hectoring that comes with fame, his Catholicism, the real people behind the fictive characters, his obsessive demons. Hotchner missed nothing in his observations of Hemingway's life and his dying and his dying and his death. No nonsense --it was suicide, following a time which the doctors labeled ""depressive-persecutory."" This is it. This is how it was with him. The book is stunning, brilliant, alive; a ""moveable feast"" for the reader.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1966
ISBN: 0306814277
Publisher: Random House